This Week – February 18, 2018

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We open ourselves to God’s Spirit in worship, prayer and study, holding each other
in community and encouraging one another to grow in the Spirit.
We reach out in generosity and compassion to the people around us.

calendarSunday, February 11, 2018
9:15 a.m. Choir Rehearsal
10:15 a.m. Worship with Special Music
Featuring the Band of Praise

Serving Our Church:
Greeters: Carol Abullarade & Waid Whatley
Organist: Jim Lansing
Musicians: Band of Praise
Jazz & Old-Time Music – THIS Sunday!
The Band of Praise, a Dixieland jazz band, will be playing at our 10:15 a.m. service. Feel free to bring family… friends… and neighbors to this high-spirited service that you won’t want to miss!

cookieboxesOperation Cookie Send-Off a HUGE Success!!
Everyone was a winner at this year’s “Women’s Fellowship Cookies for College Students” Boxing Day!! 12 boxes were packed (loaded with delicious cookies and treats) and sent to colleges all across the country!! 5 tins of cookies were also packed and delivered with a friendly visit to our homebound members. The happy packers then enjoyed a wonderful brunch and chance to chat and ward off any mid-winter cabin fever blues!! A huge thanks to all the Chapel Hills cookie donators!!

February Book Club – THIS Sunday, February 11th
Our February Book Club selection is… A Voice From the Sand Pillow People, written by Helen Stacy Stephens (Bonnie Stroessner’s mother and Stacy Kehrwald’s grandmother). We will meet in the room at the end of the hall after we’ve had time to enjoy the greeting snacks.

Thank You Notes
Posted outside Alan’s office are thank you notes we received in January from the House of Charity, Cornerstone, and VEAP.

Cooks of Chapel Hills – German Cuisine
Saturday, February 24th – 6:00 p.m.

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Join us for an evening of fun and fellowship!
Sign-up sheet is in the Narthex.
Let us know if you’ll be attending;
if you’d like to host; or if you need a ride.

thanks

… to Bob Lucas, Heidi Schellhas, and Evan Ramstad, who will be representing Chapel Hills at the House of Charity this Saturday, February 10th!

FREE Safety Check for Seniors
No-cost Home Safety Check for Seniors is offered by the Household & Outside Maintenance for Elderly (HOME) Program of Senior Community Services. We will check your need for handrails, grab-bars, smoke detectors, lighting, and other home safety components. Older adults aged 60+ residing in suburban Hennepin County and Minneapolis are eligible for this limited time offer. No sales. For more information contact 952-746-4046 or email home@seniorcommunity.org for more details.

Lenten Devotional 2018
Available for FREE at Chapel Hills this Sunday

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I share an electronic calendar with two congregations and three staff people. When everyone’s schedule is showing, it looks like I’m supposed to be in five places at once. Lent is like that this year.

If you’re beginning this devotional on Ash Wednesday, (February 14) you may have noticed how hard it was to get a dinner reservation after worship. If you look ahead to Easter, (April 1) you’ll find it’s also doing double duty.

As Christians, we always live between two calendars. We celebrate a new year in November. We’re confused when our pastor insists on green paraments for the first week in July, not red, white, and blue. We set aside this season for solemn study and reflection, and to the rest of the world it remains six ordinary weeks between Valentine’s and April Fool’s Day.

How then should we observe this crowded season? What does Lent have to do with lovers and fools? Since the answer to every question in a children’s sermon is either “love” or “Jesus,” maybe that one’s easy. But is Lent for fools? Leave your ashes on for that romantic dinner, and you may have your answer. Or tell one of your smart Atheist friends you believe in the Resurrection.

Not convinced? Take it from Paul: “The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong…” (I Corinthians 1:18, 27)
This season and its stories, set us apart, put us on a different timeline. We spend our days worshipping a God in love with weakness; following a foolish savior, even to the cross.

Vince Amlin for the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group

toastveap

jazz

“Transfiguration Sunday”
Sixth Sunday After Epiphany

Most of the people who sit in the pews of the congregations of the United Church of Christ would be identified as white.  This is a fact of who we are.  We are also a denomination that very much believes the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said that the problem of race is indeed America’s greatest moral dilemma.  Many of our leaders and clergy stood with King in his non-violent movement. We have been advocates for anti-racism work for as long as we have existed as a denomination, but the world has yet to be transformed or transfigured into God’s best hope for humankind.  We do not live in a just world . . . not yet.  Parsing through that truth and finding out how our world works to keep us racially divided is an ongoing and painful task. In 1963, that giant of American authors, black and gay, James Baldwin wrote:

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.

To speak of racism, simply to speak that word, can be uncomfortable for many of us who think of ourselves as liberal and justice-minded.  But this work of building A Just World for All requires most of us to just keep still and listen to those whose skin color is different from ours and whose experience is not ours. Justice is not something we own and gift to others.  Justice is the world as God intended, revealed in Jesus Christ. Our work as Christians is to make that world visible. This work requires humility and deep love. Begin by observing in yourself what these quotes mean to you:

Reverend Yvonne Delk, First African American woman ordained in the UCC

     I am clear that before we can have healing and renewal in the land we have to engage in truth-telling         and truth-facing. Facing the truth that can set us free can be seen as a call for a new way of being, a           new way of speaking and a new way of acting and witnessing.

Audre Lorde, American Poet

     It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those      differences.

Toni Morrison, American Novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner

     In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.

 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigerian Author

     Race doesn’t really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don’t have that choice.

Looking Ahead
February 11 Jazz & Old-Time Music Service – 10:15 a.m.
Book Club – Following Worship
February 13 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
February 14 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
February 20 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
February 21 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
February 24 Cooks of Chapel Hills – German Cuisine
February 25 Annual Meeting – Following Worship
February 27 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
February 28 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.

Prayer
May the light of God give us hope and the Power of God protect us.
May the light of God give us joy and the Peace of God calm us.
May the Light of God give us faith and the Grace of God fill us
this day and forevermore. Amen.